Down To Earth brings you the top happenings in the world of Indian ecology, botany and zoology
African Cheetahs to be translocated to India: NTCA
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) told a bench of the Supreme Court on February 22, 2019, that African cheetahs would be translocated in India from Namibia and would be kept at Nauradehi wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. According to a news report, the authority further told the apex court that the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) had given a ‘no objection’ for the translocation. When an objection was raised as to why Asiatic Cheetahs could not be imported from Iran rather than African ones, the court decided to post the hearing for March 12. The Indian Cheetah was declared extinct in 1952.
Now, ‘safe zone’ for vultures across southern states
Forest officials and experts have decided to set up a ‘vulture safe zone’ across the states of Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The decision was taken at a recent vulture conservation workshop held at Waynad, Kerala by the state forest department, according to a news report. As part of the plan, the states have decided to create a common platform so that forest officials from the states in the region can discuss vulture conservation issues and implement guidelines in protected areas. As a first step, a synchronized survey would be conducted across the southern states from March 15-17. Genetic studies on population estimations and radio collaring will also be started.
Two sloth bears found dead in Odisha’s Balasore
Two sloth bears were found dead near a river at the Jambudiha village under the Nilagiri forest range in Odisha’s Balasore district on February 19, 2019, according to a local media report. The carcasses of the bears were first spotted by local village residents, who informed the Forest Department. Though the exact reason of the deaths is not known, theories range from electrocution to poisoning. The Tinikosia, Swarnachuda and Kuladiha forests in Balasore district are home to many sloth bears. Prior to the February 19 incident, two bears were found dead at Chalanapala, also in Balasore on January 28 and February 17.
Bhoramdeo in Chhattisgarh will not be a tiger reserve
The proposed project to declare Bhoramdeo in Chhattisgarh as a tiger reserve has been shelved as per news reports. This was announced by the state’s Minister of Forests, Mohammed Akbar on the tenth day of the State Assembly’s latest session on February 21, 2019. The minister said that a lot of villages spread over an area of 8,000 sq km would have been affected if the proposed tiger reserve had been given the go-ahed. Bhoramdeao lies in the Kabirdham district of Chhattisgarh. It is known for a famous Hindu temple complex that is built at the foot of the thickly forested Maikal range of hills.
36 quarantined lions to be brought back to Gir
A total of 36 Asiatic lions, that had been quarantined in rescue centres of the Gir National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary after an epidemic of Canine Distemper Virus had swept through these protected areas in September, 2018, are to be released into the wild again. It will be a challenging task, according to experts quoted in a number of news reports as the animals have become habituated to humans. Moreover, the area of Gir from where they were taken in 2018, has been taken over by new lion prides and releasing them there could cause territorial fights. The Gujarat Forest Department will take a final decision on when and where to release the lions.
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